Whom Will You Believe?


There are many opinions that society wants us to believe: Climate is changing. Climate isn’t changing. Capitalism is good. Capitalism is bad. The internet/TV/video games/music are evil. Nothing’s evil; it’s all in how you use it. And don’t even get me started on what we should or shouldn’t eat or drink! Mostly though, opinions are … [Click to read more …]

Sabbath: Christ and the Law of Moses


Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 2:21-24; Exod. 13:2, 12; Luke 2:41-52; Matt. 17:24-27; John 8:1-11; Deut. 22:23-24. Memory Text: If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me (John 5:46, NRSV). Many Christians have been raised on stories about Jesus’ supposedly negative relationship to the Jewish religion, an unfortunate misconception … [Click to read more …]

Inside Story: A Life of Influence

Elizabeth Kimongo courtesy of the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission

Elizabeth Kimongo was born into a traditional Maasai family in Kenya. In her culture girls are expected to marry soon after their twelfth birthday. Women have little to say about their lives, but Elizabeth refused to leave school to marry. She had a dream. While home for vacation before starting high school, Elizabeth learned that … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: The Moral Law

Image © Justinen Creative from GoodSalt.com

However much Roman law, Mosaic law, and rabbinic law impacted the lives of Jews living in first-century Israel, many people who followed the religion of Israel lived outside of Palestine and beyond the borders of the Roman Empire. Thus, many of these laws would not have played a big role in their lives. At the … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Rabbinic Law

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

In addition to the Mosaic laws, Jews at the time of Jesus were also familiar with the law of the rabbis. The rabbis were the scholastic arm of the Pharisees, and they took the responsibility of ensuring that the Mosaic law remained relevant to the people. The rabbis counted 613 laws in the five books … [Click to read more …]

Monday: Mosaic Law: Civic

Image © Frank Gampel from GoodSalt.com

Although the Jews were under Roman rule at the time of Jesus, they were granted authority over those issues that were unique to their customs and religion (see Acts 18:15). The legislative body responsible for administering Jewish law was called the Sanhedrin. Sometimes referred to as the council (John 11:47, Acts 5:27), the Sanhedrin consisted … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Roman Law

Roman Senate in session
picture from Wikimedia commons

Read Luke 2:1-5. What lessons can we learn from the ways in which these two faithful followers of the Lord interacted with their political environment? A medieval depiction of the Roman Senate picture from Wikimedia commons Since the time of the early republic, the Romans recognized how important written laws were for the governance of … [Click to read more …]